tv British House of Commons CSPAN July 6, 2014 9:00pm-10:01pm EDT
week's "question time," david cameron called the murder of three israeli teens and appalling and inexcusable act of terror. he also answered questions on the british economy. two k membership in the european union, and hospital waiting times. . membership in the european union, and hospital waiting times. this is about 30 minutes. >> questions to the prime minister. >> hear, hear. thank you, mr. speaker. this morning i had meetings with ministers and colleagues and others in addition to duties in this house i shall have further such meetings later today. the speedy completion is a
key part of britain's fight back to prosperity, unleashing hundreds of jobs, affordable housing, and construction plans. will he do all he can to hasten the completion? this? friend's visited my constituency recently, i know she will be delighted the friend in question has dismissed the judicial review. now hope that this paves the way for the supermarket and the stadium to be built and i hope they will press ahead with it. not only will this mean a new home for bristol rovers but more jobs, more growth and better infrastructure. >> ed miliband. [shouting] >> mr. speaker, it's for your since the prime minister announced his top down nhs reorganization. since then can he tell us with a number of people having to wait
more than they guaranteed two months for cancer treatment has got better or worse? >> the number of people treated for cancer i has gone up by 15% and we are meeting the key waiting time targets, particularly the waiting time target for actual emergency which we met for april even though once again he predicted a crisis. >> mr. speaker, that was a very specific question i asked about cancer treatment. i asked whether things got better or worse. the prime minister said things would get better. cancer support -- more lives are being put at risk. cancer research uk said and i quote this isn't just a missed target. some patients are being felt they missed the target for the first time ever on access to cancer treatment. easy really telling two of the most respected cancer charities they are wrong about the target and things we getting better, not worst? >> we introduced for the first
time ever a cancer drugs fund which is intriguing 15,000 people. that is what is happening. the number of people being treated for cancer is up 15% and this is all in stark contrast with wales where labour are in charge -- they all shake their heads but the fact is labour is in charge of the nhs in wales and they haven't met a cancer target of their since 2009. >> actually his wrong about that. in wales, more patients sought cancer treatment within 62 days than in england. and we know why he wants to talk about wales because he cannot defend his record in england. and wasn't it interesting that on the cancer treatment target he couldn't pretend things were getting better but he couldn't admit things are getting worse. in the four years since his reorganization, have the number of people -- got better or
worse? >> we have met our waiting time target for actual emergencies. let me tell him exactly how long people are waiting. the average waiting time when the shadow secretar secretary oe with secretary of state, the average waiting time was 77 minutes or under this government it is 30 minutes. that is what's happening under this government. but let me come let me admit to a mistake, mr. speaker. let me admit to a mistake. i just said that labour have a met a cancer treatment target in wales since 2009. i'm afraid i was wrong. they haven't met a cancer treatment in wales since 2008. and, of course, in wales and there is no cancer drugs fund. there's been an 8% cut to the budget. people are dying on waiting lists, and labour are responsible. he asks me to defend my record over the last four years, i will. there are 7000 more doctors.
[shouting] there are 4000 more nurses. [shouting] there's over 1000 more midwives shot back we are treating over 1 million more patients a year, and were as the nhs under labour has a disgrace of made step commute can now see the nhs being properly invested in improperly improving. [shouting] >> i'll tell him about our record on the nhs. the shortest waiting times ever. [shouting] more doctors and nurses than ever before. [shouting] and the highest satisfaction ever. that's at labour's record on the nhs. it was a long time ago but he didn't answer the question but he didn't answer the question. it's a target that he set in a and b. litigators -- let me give them the figures big for his reorganization, the number of people's weight more than four hours was 353,000, and after his reorganization it has risen to
939,000. that's an increase of 300%. is that better or worse a? >> average waiting time is down by more than half. that is better. he doesn't have to listen to me. he can listen to the shadow health secretary who said this. he said this is the best health service in the world. that's what he said. he was quoting, he was quoting the commonwealth report which is an independent organization which ranked the united kingdom for the first time under this government as having the best health service anywhere in the world. better than america, better than germany, better than france, better than australia. he says it was his record, this would only happen under this government. [shouting] >> and i can tell him, i can tell them why it's happen under this government. mixed sex wards virtually
abolished. a cancer drug on for the first time ever. more doctors, more nurses, more people being treated and it's official, the best nhs in the world. >> into this party that created the nhs and every time we have -- [inaudible] and once again he didn't answer the question. more people are waiting more than four hours in a&e. what about those people who are so serious they need a bed in hospital? can he tell us since his reorganization, has the number of people waiting more than four hours on trolleys something he said he would get rid of that better or worst? >> the number of people waiting to get into a&e, people waiting less time than they waiting under the last labour government. we remember what the last labour government gave us. they gave us the disgrace of -- for which they have never properly apologized. what they said about our plan,
we have put wellpoint 7 billion pounds extra into the nhs. interview was it was irresponsible. they oppose reform to the nhs and you can see the effect in wales. no reform, no money, longer waiting list, no targets met. people dying on waiting lists under a labour government. >> he can't answer the basic question by his own target in the nhs. i can tell him the number of people waiting on trolleys for more than four hours has gone up from 61,000, to 157,000 on his watch. mr. speaker, he promised the reorganization in the nhs would make things better. it made things worse. worse on access to cancer treatment or worse on a&e wait, worse on gp access. the nhs is getting worse on his watch and there's only one person to blame and it seem a. >> honestly if they can't do better than that, even on the nhs, he really is in trouble.
what's happening under this government millions more patients treated, cancer drugs fund for the first time ever. our health service rank officially the best in the world, and we know what he would do because we've heard from the director of policy who said this. it will be no interesting ideas will emerge from labour's policy review. that is official. his gurus come out and said he has no vision. yesterday he misquote statistics, it's been completely wrong and the factory he speaks in, the factory he speaks in, the managing director says that labour's policy would be a bureaucratic nightmare. i would say to the people looking glum behind it, cheer up, folks. it's only wednesday. [cheers and applause] >> good to be back, mr. speaker.
a 40 year old mother was murdered -- in rotting tail on the 17th of march. the introduction of claire's law, or the right to know, to find out if your partner has a history of violence in this case, surely did note of his history of violence, must be faster by support by both the police and the probation service to those in this situation know the potential dangers they face so we will not see another tragedy like the death of sharon lee. >> can i say it is good is an honorable friend i can displace and make an important point which is introduction of claire's law. i think has made a real difference because it gives people the right to the information about potential dangers from a partner and i'm
proud of the fact that it's now been rolled out across the country. he's right, we did to do more with the police and the probation service and the prison service to make sure more warnings are given in more cas cases. >> the prime minister will be a where of housing crisis in london. but is he aware of his colleagues -- jus this think of contribution? to his 110 million family pound family firm, he has brought up new -- [inaudible] >> order. the question will be heard. what people think of it is neither here nor there. this is supposed to be a bastion of free speech and the honorable lady will be heard, however long it takes. >> families are facing eviction being put on the street. on the activities of the members -- the prime minister's idea of
compassionate conservatism? >> what i say is we all know we need to see more houses being built and we've seen 41,000 affordable stars over the last year, over one-fifth in london. we need more housebuilding, more houses providing and, therefore, we'll see more affordable rent both in the social sector and in the private sector as well. >> one in three of our nuclear test veterans descendents have been born with a serious medical condition. given our cross party campaign recognition not compensation, including a government payment to a general fund to help those in need, will the prime minister now clear the logjam, recognize that veterans and unresolved this shameful chapter in our nuclear history? >> first of all let me pay tribute to my friend. his campaign consistently on this issue in the house and outside it. he and i have discussed it and
i'm happy to tell the house that this government absolutely recognizes and it's extremely grateful to all the service personnel who participated in the nuclear testing program. we should be no doubt their selfless contribution help to make sure the uk is equipped with a deterrent that we need. following our meeting of house but officials to look at the specific points he has made and i'll come back to him as soon as possible. >> mr. speaker, last saturday i spoke with my 93 year-old constituent who serve as a merchant seamen throughout the second world war. he said to me he never thought he would live to see the day in this country when people in work would still not have enough money to live on. what does the prime minister say? is it simply this authority government make the rich richer and everyone else for? or the just the inevitable consequence of his long-term economic -- >> obviously the first thing i would say is i'm proud to lead a government that is in the basic state pension increase by 15,000 under this government helping
his constituents are in terms of how we help people in work, we need to great more jobs and we've seen 2 million new private-sector jobs under this government and the second thing we need to do is cut people's taxes and under this government you can now burn over 10,000 pounds before you pay any income tax. that is at the heart of our long-term economic plan and it is working for britain. >> thank you, mr. speaker. as the world has seen the tragic and brutal murders of three israeli youngsters most probably by hamas. will my honorable friend to the israeli government every support at this time and does he not agree with me that far from showing constraint we will do everything possible to take out hamas terrorist network and will he give the israeli government support of this? >> what i would say to my honorable friend who i know is passionate about these issues, and to a vote i in the south, ts
was an appalling and inexcusable act of terror. one can only imagine the effects of the family and friends of these for teenagers and what happened to them. i think it's important that britain will stand with israel as it seeks to bring to justice those who are responsible. we also welcome the fact that president abbas has firmly condemned the abduction and try to help find these people. it is important as my friend said also today operations are conducted with care so for the escalation is avoided. the people responsible for this should be found and brought to justice. >> mr. speaker, in 2011 the prime minister said waiting lists really matter. so why then are the nearly 3 million on ever lengthening waiting list, the highest in six years? what does the prime minister have to say to catherine singler, a constituent of mine, 33 weeks she's been waiting in vain for a hip operation? doesn't she really matter? >> what i would say to the
honorable gentleman is he needs to look at the figures and the figures show that the numbers waiting longer than 18 weeks, 26 weeks and 50 weeks, 52 weeks to start treatment -- the shadow chancellor's are getting worse. they are lower today than they ever were when he was sitting in government. lower than at any time. look, we have the record yesterday of the leader of the opposition using dodgy statistics. yesterday, yesterday he claimed, yesterday claimed that three quarters of the jobs in our country were created in london. that is totally wrong. how we heard an apology? how we heard a correction? does he want to correct the record? he will do anything to talk on the british economy. >> the prime minister is aware of the issue -- long-standing campaign for series investment
-- [inaudible] will be my mr. visit my constituency with his checkbook and a veritable announcement? >> i tend to visit a lot of time between now and the next election, and i will be bringing i with all sorts of good news for the people. >> thank you, mr. speaker. germany has three times as many apprentices as the uk. the number of young apprentices has fallen to youth unemployment, long-term unemployment is twice the national average and we're only going to track secure and better paid jobs it would make education and skills our number one priority. will be prime minister make a start by ensuring every public sector provides apprenticeship
places of? >> i have to say to the honorable gentleman if you looks at the figures for dudley north he will find the claimant count is down by 20% in the last year. people find the you've claimant count is down by 21% in the last year. the long-term you've claimant count is down a 28% in the last year. the fact is in the west midlands things are getting better, more people in work, more jobs being created. he should be celebrating a dudley rather than running it down. >> and prime minister will be a winner of the tragic death of my three year-old constituent sam morris concept is while under nhs care. he was failed by his gps, services, the hospital, primary care and the ombuds been. this must not happen again. will be prime minister a sure that the ombuds bound recordation are implemented in full and that the system of review within the nhs and but
ombuds bound are radically overhauled to deliver proper transparency and accountability in a timely way? this family waited two years for justice. >> i -- the honorable lady is right to raise this tragic case but all of our dots should be with sam's parents who i know that a meeting with the second two. it is sagging and she said to see the whole secession of health service still does them anyone who's lost a child and lost a child that young knows how harrowing and a dreadful this experience is. she's a right, we must learn the lessons from this case, make sure they're acted on the make sure they can't happen again. and just as last week we launched a major safety campaign to prevent these sort of sad and tragic death. [inaudible] can the prime minister tell us
whether -- [inaudible] >> what if it will be discussed is the fact the labour party just have to get one trade union to write one check for 14 million pounds. and when you look at the candidates that the labour party has got, when you take out of the next the fact we've got some of blair, son of star, son of prescott, son of grow become when you take out that come you will take out 80% of the candidates our union sponsored. they bought the candidates, bought the leader. we must never let them near the country. [shouting] >> thank you, mr. speaker. the number of -- has fallen from 4500 in march 2012 to 2006 and 45 now your thanks to a joint project. would be prime minister
congratulate those responsible or that success and have more mps get involved? recognizing their great value is constituted correctly and targeted wisely. >> i think my honorable friend is right, and this is something where there's interest right across this house because all parties are not committed to making the local enterprise partnerships work, not to go back to the old regions the government agencies. i think it's important local enterprise partnerships are business lead. it is important they are strong in every part of the country and members of parliament i think and play a real role in encouraging comment businessmen and women to get involved and make sure they deliver for local areas. >> can i take the premise are back to the question of the private rent sector in britain. across london there are thousands and thousands of families, people on benefits who are frightened of the rent increases, frightened of the
short term, and friend of the consequences for themselves and their children being evicted are forced to move out of the air which they live. if social cleansing is happening and it's coming to the rest of the country. can he give me an assurance that in addition to any regulation of the agencies there will be serious consideration about the need to bring back rent control in this country to protect people to ensure that somewhere secure and decent deliver a? >> whether i would agree with the honorable gentleman is i think there is a need for greater transparency for the work of leading agencies in terms of these but i think there is a need for longer-term, which we put forward options for longer-term but in the end we must allow the customer to choose what they want. where i part company with is the idea of introducing full on rent control but every time they have been tried, wherever they been tried in the world they failed and that's not just my view. that is also the view of labour's own shadow housing
ministers on the record saying that she doesn't think rent controls would work in actress so perhaps he might want to have a word with her before coming on to me. >> him in the 83 general election, a 13 year old boy delivered leaflets around my constituency touching that michael foot would take labour out of the european union. does my right honorable friend find it strange that same boy, now leader of the labour party, isn't willing either support the renegotiating of britain's firms to britain ship -- or to pledge to support to trash the people of britain on a referendum on our membership? >> i've always thought it terribly unfair to hold against people things they might have done in their youth. you know, i really --
[laughter] as a 14 year old if those whose idea of fun, then obviously, you know, we have to make room, you know, we have to make room for everybody. [laughter] the point is this. it's in the interest -- is the interest of the british people to have a renegotiation -- it is not hanging out with the shadow chancellor. [shouting] and so i feel sorry for the leader of the opposition because he has to hang out with him all of the time. what a miserable existence it must be to have him sitting next to the person directed the british economy and have to listen to them day after day, day after day as they say to the british people, we are the people who crashed the car. give us the keys back. >> mr. speaker, the uncertainties run the future of
scotland and, indeed, the uk has resulted in many of the community in scotland withholding investments in the country. does the prime minister agree there is a model responsible on employers to inform their employees what the consequences if any of separation of scotland from the uk -- [inaudible] prior to the reverend? >> i think he makes a very important point which is a huge amount of pressure is put on businesses by the scottish government with all sorts of threats and warnings if they speak out and say what they believe is the truth. i come across business leader after business leader, large and small in scotland that want to keep our united kingdom together think it would be crazy to have border controls, different currencies split up after successful united kingdom. so with him i would urge them to speak of, talk with their workforces, talk about the strength of our united kingdom and then vote to keep it together. >> thank you, mr. speaker.
this weekend the cities, towns and villages will be a live with cries of -- the world's greatest annual sporting event passes through our county. will the prime minister join in the enthusiast them for people of the race taking place this weekend and agree and a wonderful way to fill the legacy of cycling and encourage more people to get on their bike? >> i outsold you agreed with my honorable friend. i think it is brilliant the tour de france is starting in yorkshire to a single be a fantastic event for our country but it's also going to be a great advertisement for yorkshire and all that yorkshiryorkshir e has to offer. i'm looking for to going myself and seen some of the race and some of the preparations but i think will be a magnificent event and i will do everything to promote it apart from wearing lycra. >> thank you, mr. speaker. will the prime minister make it
illegal for recruitment agencies to advertise overseas for jobs in this country unless they advertise locally? yes or no? >> the short answer to that is yes, that's exactly what we're doing. the employment agencies cannot be able to do that. they cannot merely advertise jobs abroad and we're doing every thing we can to stop that. >> we have a 12 billion tourism deficit in this country. the deficit between people who go overseas and people who come here. one of the reasons or that is believed to be a high vat rate on accommodation and on attractions. will be prime minister look at that to ensure that that is not what is driving up that deficit? >> i think my honorable friend is right to promote the southwest as a holiday destination. we should do whatever we can do. the restoration of the transport link has been vital. i think it is difficult to of
differential rates of vat on some of these things but everything we can do to promote the uk as a holiday destination including the brilliant fact that the tour de france is coming this weekend, we should do. >> cancer research uk has just launched a new strategy which is focus on -- [inaudible] >> i do think the cancer drugs fund has been a huge breakthrough not just in terms of making available drugs but also making available some important treatment of the other parts of the united kingdom will take up what we're doing with the cancer drugs than. i think the other thing we can do is through genomics uk to make sure we're sentencing genomes as fast as we can so that we can carry out the research necessary to see which cancer drugs will be effective on which patients according to
their dna. this will be the model way to do tailored medicine and the pleased to say britain is well ahead of the pack in terms of making sure we invest their universities and science-based as well as our nhs. two young constituents of mine own property. does the prime minister agreed they now enjoy their own home and made a start on housing demonstrated his government's support for those who want to work hard and get on with what? >> i join in congratulating, in congratulating his constituents but to see it is working to get people of housing ladder because it's enabling people who don't have rich parents who can't afford a big deposit but you can afford a mortgage to go out and buy the flat or the house that they would. we have seen 30,000 people already taking advantage of this
and it's also helped to kickstart investment in housing and to get the level of housing starts up in our country. >> is the prime minister aware that under question of the national health service and as an outpatient which i happened to visit on a regular basis, and do your from the front line about the problems in the health service, the nurses have lost quite a considerable amount into real pay. the a&e are bursting at the seams. then there's the question of almost every hospital in britain that is running into financial difficulty. as a member of the club, is he proud to be surrounded by this wreckage?
remember, it's his legacy, not ours. stop blaming the union. get it done or get out. [shouting] >> i just think the picture that the audible chip and paints is completely wrong. of course, there are more people going to a&e to over a million more people going to a&e intercountry but we are meeting our target and waiting times are down by half. he talks about nurses. there are 4000 more nurses in our nhs than when i first stood at this dispatch box. there are 7000 were doctors and what he ought to know about is that actually we've got the number of administrative staff, the bureaucrats were left with by the party opposite 19,000 fewer of those. that's what we're able to treat more patients with more clinical staff, a record that we can all be proud of. >> thank you. our long-term economic plan --
[shouting] 200 million pounds has been allocated for fighting -- 3.3 million in north hampshire. much of that in my constituency. doesn't this infrastructure investment means that it's only conservative that have a plan that puts britain on the road to recovery whereas the labour party would try this countries economy off a cliff? >> i think my honorable friend is fully justified and taking a lot of credit for the work that is been done on potholes. partly because of that big a 3.3 million pounds specifically to spend on repairing roads and he will be pleased to note that is enough to fill than a staggering 62000 potholes. this is important because it damages peoples cars, motorbikes and cycles on the way to work. minting bottles is good for hard-working families.
>> drama. a 73 year-old army veteran in my constituency -- he hasn't been seen since june 19. his family is frantic with worry. will be prime minister assured they continue the excellent work and cooperate with the greek government to make sure that he has found a? >> i will do everything i can tell the honorable gentleman with his constituents and have discussions with the foreign office about all the assistance that is being given anything else they can do. >> order. point of order. mr. ramsay burnham. >> the prime minister appears to suggest that the number of people who waited longer than 18 weeks in operation have gone down since his real position. i have the figures are. april 2010, 20,662 waited longer than 18 weeks.
april 2014, 29,470, the number has gone up. before the prime minister leaves the chamber, don't you think he might correct the record, mr. speaker? >> i will tell the house the numbers waiting longer than 18, 26 and 52 weeks to start treatment is lower than at any time under the last government. those are the facts. yesterday they were caugh >> you have been watching prime minister's questions from the british house of commons. live every wednesday at 7:00 a.m. eastern and sunday nights at 9:00 p.m. eastern and pacific on c-span. watch any time at www.c-span.org , where you can find video of past prime minister's questions and other reddish public affairs programs. -- british public affairs programs. next, the debate on whether campaign financing is
[indiscernible] , then a memorial sermon for a then, ast tilde 2013 -- memorial sermon for journalists killed in 2013. now, a debate on the merits of the supreme court's 2010 citizens united ruling. it gives corporations and labor unions the ability to spend unlimited amounts of money in political campaigns. speakers include the cofounder and executive director of free speech for people, which is committed to overturning citizens united, and the legal adviser for citizens united, and the general counsel for the national right to life committee. it is just under an hour. [applause] thank you, nelson.
it was a privilege to serve with you and serve as your executive director for 13 years. i'm here as a moderator. is pretty -- role limited. i would like to have the two debaters come up. this is different than the previous session. this will be a modified debate, if you will. we will be debating the topic of campaign-finance and the citizens united decision. the backdrop for all this is in 2010, the supreme court issued the landmark citizens united decision and more recently in april of this year, talk about timeliness, but we were planning the conference we had no idea that we would get hit by another decision on issues involving money and politics. the decision is the mccutcheon's versus the federal elections commission is coming out. we are entering a new world and concerning financing political
campaigns. i have the distinct privilege of moderating the debate between john and james. they are two of the nation's leading authorities. i can speak for a long time about each of them. rather than bore you with that, please read your program and google them and you will be impressed with their qualifications. mr. bopp is coming from indiana and mr. bonifaz is coming from massachusetts. we appreciate them coming down. let me explain the format to you. we will have time for questions. initially, each individual will make a 10 minute opening presentation. mr. bonifaz will speak first. after the three minute
rebuttals, we will open it up to the audience. if you have questions, put them in writing. at the end of the session, we will give them each a minute to sum up. with that, i'll turn it over. i think it's better to stay in here because c-span is recording this and i think they wanted to focus on this lectern. thank you. >> thank you to the miami-dade commission on public trust and st. thomas center for ethics for holding this debate. american democracy is in crisis. big-money interests dominate our elections and our government, drowning out the voices of ordinary citizens. five justices of the united states supreme court have hijacked the first amendment for the wealthy few, distorting the very essence of a guarantee of an open and unfettered the
exchange of ideas and undermined the promise of republican self-government and political equality for all. the american people recognize this and in just four years since the citizens united ruling, millions of citizens across the country have propelled a growing grassroots movement for a constitutional amendment to overturn the supreme court and to defend our democracy. 16 states have already gone on record calling for such an amendment, including montana and colorado, where 75% of the voters in the 2012 election supported ballot initiatives demanding an amendment. more than 160 members of congress are already on record . the united states senate will soon hold a historic vote on
senator tom udall's constitutional amendment bill that will end big money in politics and restore the basic vision of our republic. governed of, by, and for the people. in these remarks, i will address four a central points as to why the supreme court's ruling are wrong and why we must fight to overturn them in the name of the first amendment and our democracy. point number 1 -- money does not equal speech. in his 1976 and buckley the vallejo, the supreme court equated money with speech and struck down campaign spending in the wake of watergate. the ruling set us on our course of unlimited campaign spending, where our elections are sold to the highest bidders. as former justice john paul stevens has said, money is property. it is not speech. money amplifies speech, and for
the very wealthy in our society, money enables them to be heard at the loudest decibels at the expense of the rest of us. the campaign spending issues were regulations on the manner of speech, not on speech itself. by equating money with speech, the buckley court sanctioned a system that allows the very wealthy, and now corporations, to distort our political process and the very meaning of the first amendment. point number 2 -- no one has a first amendment right to drown out other people' speech. the supreme court stated this clearly. in the 1949 in kovacs v. cooper. a union in the city of trenton was blaring its message with a sound truck going down every street. in response, the city passed an ordinance saying the sound trucks can only go down every
3rd street. the supreme court upheld the ordinance as a reasonable regulation on the manner of speech. it found that public streets served other public purposes that needed to be protected and as justice jackson wrote in his concurrence, freedom of speech for kovacs does not include freedom to use sound amplifiers to drown out the natural speech of others. the d.c. circuit court of appeals in the buckley case recognized this very point in defining campaign spending limits to be constitutional. it would be strange if the appellate court said, by extrapolation outward from the basic rights of individuals, the wealthy few could claim a constitutional guarantee to a stronger political voice than the unwealthy mainly because they are able to spend more money and the amount they gives
and spend cannot be limited. campaign spending limits ensure that big-money interest may not drown out the voices of everyone else in our political process. point number 3 -- today's campaign-finance system violates the equal protection rights of non-wealthy candidates and voters. the supreme court has long held that wealth cannot be a determining factor in our elections. in 1966, and harper v. virginia board of elections, the court struck down the poll tax as unconstitutional on equal protection grounds. in 1972, it struck down high candidate filing fees on that same basis. the supreme court also made clear in the exclusionary white primary cases that a process that has become a critical part of the machinery for getting elected must be opened to all. today's campaign-finance system
operates as an exclusionary wealth primary, in violation of the equal protection clause. voters and candidates, lacking access to wealth, are effectively barred from the wealth primary. the wealth primary has become a critical part of the machinery for getting elected. almost invariably, those candidates who win the wealth primary, who out raise and outspend their opponents, go on to win the election. a system that pre-selects candidates based on their access to wealth is contrary to equal protection in the political process and offensive to the basic principle of one person, one vote. writing for the court in striking down high candidate filing fees, it was said that we would ignore reality if we were not to recognize that the system falls with unequal weight on voters as well as candidates according to their economic
status. we would ignore reality today were we not to find that this campaign falls on voters and candidates according to their economic status. point number four -- corporations are not people. in citizens united, they slip away a century of president -- they swept away a precedent barring corporate money in election. the corporate's that corporations are not merely associations of people. such an argument would not pass a basic corporate law exam in law school. corporations are artificial creatures of the state, unlike a corporation of people, corporations have advantages we do not have.
limited liability, unlimited life, the ability to frame well. -- aggregate and distribute wealth. the framers understood that they were not to be treated as people under our constitution. james madison said, corporations are a necessary evil, subject to proper limitations and guards. thomas jefferson hoped to "crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations." as the result of citizens united, five justices of the court have unleashed unlimited corporate and union dollars into our elections, making a dangerously corrupting system exponentially worse and extending further the fabrication of corporate claims of constitutional rights. under our constitution and under
our republic, we, the people, shall govern over corporations, not the other way around. in the face of this crisis, we must now use our power under article five of the constitution to enact a constitutional amendment to overturn the supreme court and to defend our democracy and our republic. we have done this before in our nation's history. 27 times before. seven times to overturn egregious supreme court rulings. we can and we must do it again. and we will. as dangerous as this moment is for our democracy, it also presents a unique and historic opportunity to unite around our common vision of america, a country may be divided on many public policy questions on the day, but we are united behind that basic and powerful idea --
government of, by, and for the people. that common vision fuels the current movement for a constitutional amendment to reclaim our democracy. as james madison wrote in federalist papers number 57, who are to be the electors of the federal representative? not the rich more than the poor. not the sons of the state which name then the sons of the obscure. the electors are to be the great body of the people of the united states. in the name of james madison, it is time for a 28th amendment to the constitution that lists up -- lifts up that promise to democracy and make sure that we the people, not corporations or big-money interests, rule in america. [applause]
>> thank you mr. bonifaz. you have 10 minutes to make an opening statement. >> thank you very much. i must admit, i am one of those agents of the corporate and big-money interests. wisconsin right to life, citizens united, in the most recent mccutcheon case where all my cases. in those cases, i was representing an advocacy group in wisconsin whose sources of funds were people of average means who only wanted to do was lobby their incumbent members of the united states senate to urge them in 2004 not to filibuster president bush's judicial nominees and of course they ran square into mccain-feingold blackout.
which made it a criminal offense for a corporation or a labor union to run any ad that simply mentions the name of a candidate for federal office. what they wanted to do was to urge the public to contact them about an upcoming vote in congress. you might wonder, why is it that congress would pass such a blackout period? people that come together in groups, people of average means, that is the only way they can participate by coming together as a group. why is that congress thinks it is outrageous and a criminal offense for someone to have the audacity to lobby them about an upcoming vote in congress? well, this is as old as time. incumbent politicians object to being criticized. they hate it when people talk
about what they are doing to us and for us and office. the people who founded our country were surely some of the most sophisticated group of politicians and political thinkers that have ever come together in the history of the world and they knew that the experiment in self-government, where it is the people that are going to govern themselves, would certainly fail if the government could decide if people could exercise the four indispensable democratic freedoms that allow that system of government to operate. that is speech, press, association, and petitioning the government. so they rolled the first amendment. -- wrote the first amendment. john did not mention it, but let me, which said congress shall make no law abridging the
freedom of speech, press, association, and petitioning. it was not a few years before the federalist party passed the alien and sedition act in 1790 to suppress the speech of the emerging public and party. -- republican party of thomas jefferson. people were prosecuted and went to jail for doing things that were considered sedition. that is to disparage the government or any public official. criticize them about what they're doing to us and for us in office. well, it did not work. is often these attempts by incumbent politicians to protect themselves against the people and using campaign-finance to suppress their speech often does not work either. thomas jefferson won. the alien and sedition acts were
repealed and he pardoned those convicted under it. it is perfectly obvious from that experience that it is going to be very difficult to get incumbent politicians to get off the train and the train is to use government power against those, who they perceive to be their enemies. john -- his speech was talking about who he perceives to be his enemies. corporate and big money interests. enemies of the liberal agenda or what he thinks is the authentic will of the people. what he wants to do is suppress those voices. so he can get his agenda adopted. well, the incumbent politicians will do that as well. it is bipartisan. it happens with people on both sides of the issue. that is why our first amendment was adopted.
it is to prevent incumbent politicians from using the power of government to suppress who they view to be their enemies. now, is there any doubt that they have had a difficult time understanding what the word no means? my three daughters thought when they were teenagers that no man, well it is ok this time, isn't it, dad? so we have had periodic passage of laws, including the most recent mccain-feingold law and here the irony of john's lambasting of his perceived enemies, the corporations and big-money interests, the irony that mccain-feingold that he championed targets the very groups that people of average means must have in order to participate. mccain-feingold targeted advocacy groups in imposing this lack out.
-- blackout period in terms of mentioning names of candidates in a broadcast ads. they attacked political parties, for raising money and are regulated state laws about what candidates can say about federal office. they attacked unions with the same blackout period. they did nothing about any rich person. there is not a sentence that adversely affects the ability of a rich person to spend their own money for politics. what about people of average means? they do not have the money. what they have to do is associate. they come together in a group, pool their resources, now they have the money to participate. the rich get off, the people of average means are shut out. he calls this attacking the big-money's interest.
i call it enabling the rich people to be the only ones that can participate in our political system. he praised the expenditure limits that were passed as part of the 1974 post-watergate amendments which limited what a presidential candidate can spend to $20 million in a two-year election cycle. and he calls this not suppressing speech. i agree with the fact that money has not been speech. they say we say that. we do not say that. it is ridiculous. the problem is is if you limit the money that can be spent on speech, you are limiting speech. does anyone doubt -- barack obama, in 2008, limited to only
$2 million when he ran for the president of united states limits his speech? -- doesn't limit his speech? come on. john? of course it does. somebody had to buy the soapbox. somebody had to buy the megaphone. how many people can you communicate with that you can not spend any money to go see to speak to them personally? so that is why campaign-finance limits on spending money violate the freedom of speech because they limit the amount of speech that someone can do and the reality is that it costs money to communicate. the final thing i might say about john's presentation is how offensive it is that he thinks that everyone who is involved in politics are crooks. they have a veritable industry
that is funded by the largest private foundation, the richest private foundation in our country that is continually generating this concept that every public official, and many of you who may not be but work in government, are simply just a bunch of crooks. they are available for purchase at really quite low prices because john has advocated and defended contribution limits as low as $100 to run for state representatives. i went to law school here in florida but honestly, even in 1970 i did not know a single state rep that you could buy for $100 in the state of florida. he thinks they are that cheap. so, it is not surprising that people are cynical about politics and government and think people are crooks when you
have the whole industry that spends an enormous amount of time, money, and effort painting all politicians and public officials with this brush. that takes us really to the final affirmative point that i would make, and that is there is a real problem in our public finances them right now. it is low contribution limits. everything -- all of the things that are disturbing people, the lack of transparency, the total lack of accountability in many instances of actors within our political system all are occurring because of the low contribution limits. said another way, if someone is interested in things that are happening in congress and they want to support a candidate that shares their views and they are prepared to spend $50,000 to do that, let's say a trial lawyer -- >> try to wrap it up. 30 seconds.
>> thank you very much. 30 seconds. >> thank you very much. 30 seconds. 1, 2 -- no. they will not be satisfied with spending $2600. they will find some other mechanism to participate so they give to the trial lawyers pac. they get to the c4, some super pac, some 527 that will spend the money less efficiently, that will be less transparent and certainly unaccountable because they're not on the ballot. these low contribution limits should be radically increased in order to allow for a much more transparent, much more accountable system which will lack many of the distortions which we suffer under currently in our system. thank you. [applause] >> we are going to give each